Year in Review: Drama Crushes

A list of all the dramas we loved! The year 2014 had quite some good dramas. The key was to discover them! Thank you 2014 for blessing us with those shows :-D!

phoenix’s selection

Bad Guys

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There are no words to describe how much I love this drama. Without any love lines, this suits me just fine because the excellent action and thrilling fights more than makes up for it. We have a twisted father, Mad Dog, who lost his daughter during a serial killer investigation and now leads a special investigations unit made up of three hardened criminals released from jail. Kind of like a tame Hannibal scenario?

Anyways, we have a hitman who turned himself in after a murder and is full of regret and seeking redemption. The second is a powerful gangster who conquered 30+ districts for his boss in the span of a few weeks. The last is a amnesiac serial killer who can’t remember his murders…and who might have murdered Mad Dog’s daughter. Sounds like a self-destructing bomb doesn’t it? Oh, and I almost forgot that meddling ahjumma female cop in the group who always speaks like she is whispering. Anyways, although having ulterior motives in the beginning, Mad Dog gradually begins to appreciate each criminal for their humanistic side. The four develop a special camaraderie that has them saving each other’s butts, instead of climbing over each other to reduce their own sentences with each case they solve.

The drama is fantastically shot, though sometimes hard on the eyes, because of the dark lighting they always use. The fighting scenes are simply superbly choreographed and portrays the strengths of each character. The acting is also up to par even though most of the actors are not A-listers. With each episode being a separate case, the drama manages to tie the whole thing together by linking each character with each other as well as connecting all the cases together in a big mystery case. The ending shows us the potential for a sequel…which I can’t wait to see written and filmed!

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Bad Guys

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Bad Guys

Bad Guys is a deliciously dark procedural drama series. The drama focuses on a special investigation unit that tracks down vicious killers and cold cases that the regular police force cannot solve. However, the unique part about this team is that 3/5 of the members are actually convicted criminals. Woong-Cheol is a powerful gangster who used to have a lot of territory before getting incarcerated. Tae Soo is a contract killer who turned himself in. The third is Jung Moon, the youngest serial killer with genius level intelligence who mysteriously does not remember the murders he commits. With the brawn, killer instinct, and intelligence of these three criminals, they are a force to be reckoned with. Leading the team is suspended team leader Goo-Tak, who uses excessive force. Goo-Tak also harbors inner pain as his own daughter was murdered brutally. Rounding out the team is inspector Mi-Young who tries to reason and keep the team together. For each case that one of the prisoners solves, they get to reduce their sentence by a couple of years until they become completely free. Off to a rocky start, each criminal works mostly alone in order to reduce their own sentence when together they would be more formidable. The first procedural drama that I’ve watched in awhile, I really enjoy how the drama does not sugarcoat the seedy underworld and shows society at its ugliest. However, in the same vein, it shows that sometimes reform is possible as the criminals learn to save lives instead of taking them. The cinematography is also great complete with smoldering stares and broodiness from all four males. Though at times, Goo-Tak takes the broody to the next level, just a bit too dramatic. However, overall, it is a well-made drama that is underrated.